After falling out of favor, the classic Italian scooters are seeing a revival in popularity.

In recent years, the Pakistani motorcycle market has been flooded with inexpensive bikes from China. These have mostly replaced the Vespas that used to swarm the streets of Pakistan. Recently, though, the classic old scooters have seen a resurgence of interest, leading many to dig up and restore the old bikes.

One of the main reasons is nostalgia. Many adults have fond memories of Vespas from their youth, similar to the retro bike craze here in the U.S. Many modern Chinese bikes are, shall we say, "strongly influenced" by Japanese designs. They don't have as much style and pizzazz as the classic Italian scooters. Now people are seeking them out to ride something a little different, as well as a blast from the past.

Not only are individuals hauling old Vespas out of mothballs, but people have also turned Vespa restoration into a booming industry. One thing we learned from Top Gear's Vietnam road trip on motorcycles is just how simple old Vespas are to work on and fix. Since there were so many of them in Pakistan in the past, there are numerous donors available for restoration. Others that are too far gone to fix are salvageable for parts.

Beyond restoration, builders can customize the scooters to their customers' desires. They can paint them any color you can imagine, making it possible to match your dad's old scooter from 50 years ago. Some install accessories like radios that were never available from the factory.

Like the old days, you can now find gangs of brightly colored scooters weaving through traffic. These aren't gangs in the American sense, but just a bunch of Vespa enthusiasts enjoying their brightly colored rides the way their ancestors used to.

Source: NPR